Capitol Alert

AM Alert: A birthday present for Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget on Jan. 7, 2016.
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed 2016-17 state budget on Jan. 7, 2016. The Associated Press

What will Gov. Jerry Brown wish for when he blows out the 78 candles on his birthday cake today? Perhaps that voters reject a November ballot measure threatening his proposed Delta tunnels or that federal officials look favorably on a health insurance plan tax extension he helped negotiate earlier this year?

Certainly high on the wish list would be a successful signature-gathering effort for his own initiative to loosen fixed-term sentencing standards and make it easier for nonviolent offenders to get parole. Only announced in January, the campaign must collect valid signatures for 585,407 registered voters by June 30 to qualify – a tight deadline, even when you’ve got more than $20 million in your war chest.

Friends in high places are trying to help make that last dream come true. As a birthday present for Brown, the California Democratic Party is hosting an all-day event, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at its headquarters on 9th Street, where people can drop in, learn more about the initiative and sign the petition to put it on the ballot.

Brown himself was recently spotted outside a Sacramento Safeway, asking shoppers for their support.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Lawmaker reactions at a hearing yesterday on the state audit of the University of California ranged from incredulity at UC’s response to dismissal of the report’s conclusion.

TRUE CRIME: Law enforcement is no fan of Brown’s proposed sentencing overhaul. Hoping not to get caught flatfooted like they did with 2014’s Proposition 47, which reduced some nonviolent drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, they’ve already launched a publicity offensive comparing the measure to a “kneecapping” for victims. That should make for an interesting dynamic when Brown addresses the 26th annual Crime Victims United of California march, 10:30 a.m. on the west steps of the Capitol.

SURVEY SAYS: California is still Donald Trump country, according to a new Field Poll, but the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination also faces regional weaknesses in and around Los Angeles that could prove detrimental in the state’s crucial, delegate-rich June 7 primary, which awards delegates by congressional district. David Siders has more on the dynamics of the race in his story.

WE BE BURNIN’: It’s very possible that by this time next year, recreational marijuana will be legal in California. So what can we learn from states that have already taken the plunge? The Public Policy Institute of California hosts a panel discussion on regulating marijuana with officials from Colorado and Washington, noon at the Capitol Event Center on 11th Street.

STATE OF THE UNION: Now that it’s scored a huge win on the minimum wage, organized labor is turning to a new priority: California’s child care system. Last year, labor groups lead an unsuccessful push to unionize providers. Joined by Assemblymen Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, and Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, they’ll launch a new policy agenda, 11:30 a.m. in Room 317 of the Capitol.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff